I want to write in defence of scarves. Yes I’m into flagging culture and the things that it represents but I’m worried that flagging culture is going to inhibit femme fashion and limit one’s ability to accessorise. I think that flagging needs to be context specific, like at gay clubs, sex on premise venues and at erotic parties. I want to be able to go down to my local coffee shop and wear my scarves and not worry about being misread as to my sexual proclivities or worry that that kind of information is available to the general public. There has been talk about having a specific knot or the usage of a brooch to symbolise a scarf not being a flag. I’ve also been told I just need to ‘suck it up’ and that if I want to wear a scarf that’s what I have to take on board. I disagree, I think that there are other reasons for wearing a scarf than just flagging and that these need to be accounted and accommodated for (todays bad hair day was a good example).
I think I’m with Max on the strict “no anti-flags” position — for me because flagging never implies consent — but also when it comes to sex acts, I’m suspicious of the fear of being misread. Like the heterosexual anxiety at being misread as queer (An aside: have you noticed straight cis men in dresses are often especially misogynistic? Think The Footy Show.), I think that worrying about whether people think I’m into scat, when if I’m not, is more about some aversion to that which I am (mis)taken for than a concern about any real communication failure.
This is coming from a queer femme who is often read as straight, who has decided I’d rather suck it up than suggest people should be able to read my sexuality from the way I look. (I think Max is writing more on identity and appearances later.) Which isn’t to say that being misread or misunderstood is never a big deal — it can be lethal — but that particular misunderstanding, of phantom flags, of the flag unintended, that’s one I want to embrace.